Safety on the road has enormous benefits for both the driver and the carrier. Rewarding this type of behavior with an incentive program is a win-win situation for both parties. Rewards do not need to be monetary.
We talk to dozens of training-focused fleet managers each week, and here are a few of the driver incentive ideas we've heard from them.
- Company branded items such as jackets, hats, gloves, flashlights, etc are a way to reward your drivers. Especially comfort items for the road such as high-end pillows and blankets.
- Ask your drivers what they'd enjoy! Once you get past the "trips to Hawaii" and "a new Mustang", you may find out that they'd enjoy something simple like a Starbucks or Cabela's card.
- Make sure when developing a program, there must be a fair playing field. Determine and communicate all the parameters to your drivers. All criteria should be developed before instituting the program. We read once that behaviors should be measured (and rewarded) individually, and results should be measured as a group.
- You might consider rewards for spouses. All too often, what a driver does or doesn’t do is defined by his/her family and spouse. How about some restaurant gift cards, movie tickets, or even weekend getaways?
- Many companies have made incentives a competitive experience. You can build leader boards for those drivers that finish lessons soonest, for example.
- Even just tracking information on accidents or incidents vs. the training taken would be good for the drivers to know.
- Gather a basket full of items a driver might like or need ( gift cards, coffee mugs, hats, gloves, etc.) and “raffle” it off to the driver who completed the most training in the year, quarter, etc.
- Even keeping a record of safety training vs incidents or accidents and sharing who did what and how their incidents and accidents were reduced with the company
- Sending out emails to the drivers about how many lessons have been taken monthly, quarterly, etc. Sometimes the drivers just need to know how important it is to the company or safety department.
- Sending out emails thanking individuals for completing their training for the month or quarter.
- Sometimes just posting who has completed their training on a company board or blog or even email might get their competitive spirit fired up.
- If a company already rewards drivers for not having accidents or incidents, you can tie the safety training into that bonus.
- Make a game of it: Maybe ask a question that focuses on what the quarterly/monthly training is about and the one who gets the answer correct first receives a gift card, etc.